civ·​i·​lized | \ ˈsi-və-ˌlīzd How to pronounce civilized (audio) \

Definition of civilized

: characteristic of a state of civilization civilized society especially : characterized by taste, refinement, or restraint

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Examples of civilized in a Sentence

A civilized society must respond to crime with fairness and justice. Stop yelling. We have to be more civilized about this. Try to act like a civilized human being! a civilized way to spend the evening
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Recent Examples on the Web One of the oldest bars in the state, 740 opened on Louisville’s Front Street in 1904 to keep those heathen drinkers off of the more civilized Main Street. Josie Sexton, The Know, "Colorado’s 13 most iconic, historic restaurants and what to order when you’re there," 23 Oct. 2019 In the civilized drama of urban life, the prominent display of juicy paint against canvas is art’s equivalent of theater. Los Angeles Times, "Review: A Getty show rummages around in Edouard Manet’s private shadows," 22 Oct. 2019 There are no civilized species on the Red Planet, and no evidence that there ever were. Seth Shostak, NBC News, "We may be closing in on the discovery of alien life. Are we prepared?," 4 Oct. 2019 Being that Char is an upscale restaurant and not a fast-food joint, the chicken breast was consumed all civilized-like, with knife and fork. Matt Wake |, al, "The new fried chicken in Huntsville you have to try," 12 Sep. 2019 Behind him is Oikoumene, a goddess who personified the civilized world, about to place a military wreath known as a corona civica on his head. Judith H. Dobrzynski, WSJ, "A Man Among Gods," 21 Sep. 2018 But organized, civilized and everyone is respectful and organized. oregonlive, "Blackout NYC 2019: Scenes from power outage on anniversary of 1977 blackout," 13 July 2019 China is a deep-pocketed, rapacious regime that poses a significant threat not just to American interests but to the entire civilized world. Chen Guangcheng, Twin Cities, "Chen Guangcheng: Trump has the right strategy on Beijing. As a Chinese dissident, I’d know.," 5 Sep. 2019 No other civilized nation comes close to that kind of senseless carnage. Byron Mccauley,, "Take a moment and thank the police who run toward danger," 5 Aug. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'civilized.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of civilized

1611, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for civilized

Time Traveler

The first known use of civilized was in 1611

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Statistics for civilized

Last Updated

19 Nov 2019

Cite this Entry

“Civilized.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 22 November 2019.

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How to pronounce civilized (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of civilized

: marked by well-organized laws and rules about how people behave with each other
: polite, reasonable, and respectful
: pleasant and comfortable

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Comments on civilized

What made you want to look up civilized? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


not agreeing with established beliefs

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